Primary Care (Hope Drive)
FLU SHOTS are now available
We are currently scheduling appointments for flu vaccines and flu mist. Please call 717-531-7300 to check on Flu Shot availability or use My Penn State Hershey Health to send a message to request an appointment.
A Shot in the Arm for the Hungry
During our flu shot clinics this year, we are partnering with the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank to collect non-perishable food items to provide to communities in need. High priority items include canned tuna, cereal, macaroni and cheese, canned soups or stews, peanut butter, packaged meals and baby food or formula. We ask that you bring donations to your scheduled flu shot appointment.
We are pleased to announce that we are currently accepting new patients from birth to 16 years of age!
Please call 717- 531-7300 to register your children and set up the first appointments.
The following providers are now seeing patients on the West Shore at our Camp Hill location:
- Dr. Crowell
- Dr. Duda
- Dr. Murphy
- Susan Evitts, CPNP
Please let our schedulers know if you would like for your child to be seen at the Camp Hill location by calling 717-531-7300 to schedule.
We would like to welcome Dr. Alyssa Weller and Dr. Benjamin Fogel to our Hope Drive Pediatrics team!
Dr. Weller joins us as an attending physician after completing her residency here at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, and also sees patients at Penn State Hershey Pediatric Headache and Concussion Clinics. Dr. Fogel is joining us from Boston Children's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.
Both providers joined us in August and are accepting new patients.
General Pediatrics aims to be the leader in central Pennsylvania for providing comprehensive, evidence-based, quality preventive and acute general pediatric care to children and adolescents birth through 21 years of age. We approach care of individuals through a "comprehensive" philosophy, emphasizing care of the whole individual as opposed to just a single organ system or age group. As academic pediatricians, we provide our care alongside the next generation of healthcare providers (students and resident physicians), whom we supervise and teach but also learn from.
Phone: 717-531-7300 Fax: 717-531-8992
- Option #1 if you wish to schedule a routine appointment with your primary care provider, change, confirm, or cancel an appointment or to speak with staff.
- Option #2 if you have questions about durable medical equipment, or need an insurance referral or pre-authorization.
- Option #3 if you need to speak with a registered nurse about your sick child or to schedule an urgent appointment for your sick child.
- Option #4 if you have billing questions.
Our phones are in operation Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. to assist you with scheduling an appointment. If you need to contact our office to schedule an acute appointment after hours or on the weekend, please call 717-531-7300 and stay on the line to be transferred to our after hours CareLine nursing staff. You can also reach the Careline directly by calling 717-531-6955 or toll free at 800-243-1455.
You can also contact us online by using your My Penn State Hershey Health online tool.
Hours of Operation
- 8:00 a.m. – 8:15 p.m. (Monday, Wednesday and Thursday)
- 9:00 a.m. – 8:15 p.m. (Tuesday)
- 8:00 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. (Friday)
- 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (Saturday)
- 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (Sunday) - During Winter months only
Many insurance companies require referral forms or special approval before a patient can see a specialist or have a special test. Please ask your primary care provider to help make sure you have the appropriate papers before going to a specialist. Our insurance coordinator can be reached at 717-531-2075 during daytime office hours to answer any of your questions. Or, you can call 717-531-7300 and select Option #2 from the main menu.
Primary Care Providers (PCPs)
- Christine Arnold, MSN, CRNP received her diploma in Nursing from Harrisburg Polyclinic Hospital School of Nursing, BSN from Thomas Jefferson University and MSN Young Family Nurse Practitioner Track in 1993, and has worked at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center for more than 10 years. Areas of special interest include newborns and breastfeeding, pediatric weight management and adolescent health care. She is a member of Dauphin County Safe Kids, and Capital Area Head Start where she is a member of the Medical Advisor Board. When not at work, she can be found with her palomino gelding Quarter Horse, taking dressage lessons, or training her rescued mixed breed named Gracie.
- Kathryn Crowell, M.D. graduated from Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1998 and completed her residency here at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Areas of special interest include developmental pediatrics, medical education and child abuse. Dr. Crowell is working with Dr. Duda to develop a consultative service for cases of suspected child abuse. She serves as an advisor for residents and students, and is involved in curriculum development for 3rd and 4th year medical students. Dr. Crowell is also one of our providers at our Camp Hill location. She is married and has children.
- Susan Evitts, CPNP, MSN attended Nursing School at Lancaster General Hospital, received her BSN from Pennsylvania State University and her MSN from Villanova University. She has 13 years experience in Pediatric Outpatient care. Susan has served over 11 years in the United States Air Force Nurse Corps, where she was the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Consultant to the Air Force Surgeon General from June 2009 to January 2013. Susan joined our team of providers in October of 2013, and is also a provider at our Camp Hill location. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, cooking, and entertaining in her home.
- Ben Fogel, M.D., M.P.H. completed medical school at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia in 2009. He completed his pediatric residency training at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and at Boston Children's Hospital. After residency he completed a General Academic Pediatrics fellowship at Boston Children's Hospital and a Masters in Public Health at Harvard University. Dr. Fogel joined Penn State Hershey Medical Center in 2014 and has a research interest in improving the quality of general pediatric care. He is happily married and has one daughter.
- Nicole Hackman, M.D., is a native of Hershey, Pennsylvania. She graduated from York College of Pennsylvania in 2003 and from Pennsylvania State College of Medicine in 2007. She completed her residency and has worked in various capacities within the Medical Center for more than 12 years starting while still in high school. Areas of special interest include breastfeeding education, support of nursing mothers and newborn care. She is an attending physician in the newborn nursery, and she teaches residents and medical students. Dr. Hackman is married and has children.
- Sarah Iriana, M.D. graduated from the University Of Vermont College Of Medicine in 1993. She completed her pediatric residency at the Penn State M.S. Hershey Medical Center in 1996. Dr. Iriana worked at the Elizabethtown Pediatric clinic before coming to work at East Campus Pediatrics in 2010. She enjoys well child care and preventative medicine, and is also interested in the care of internationally adopted children. She is the current Medical Director and is a Global Health Scholar's Program faculty member. Dr. Iriana is also a member of the Ambulatory EMR design and implementation team, which is responsible for implementing the electronic medical record (EMR) system throughout the medical group. She is married and has three daughters.
- Banku Jairath, M.D. attended medical school at Christian Medical College in Ludhiana, Punjab, India. She has held positions as House Officer in the Pulmonology Department at GMC in Chandigarh, India in 2007 and a research position at Manhattan Psychiatric Center in 2008. Dr. Jairath began her career at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in 2010 with her pediatric residency, and became an attending in 2013. She is particularly interested in pediatric patients with asthma and ADHD. Dr. Jairath is married and has a daughter.
- Kelly Kline, D.O. joined the practice in 2005. She is a native of Lancaster County. She graduated from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her pediatric residency at Penn State Children's Hospital. Dr. Kline has a special interest in children with special needs and adolescent medicine. Dr. Kline is married, has three children of her own and currently resides in Lancaster.
- Benjamin Levi, M.D. PhD is a practicing pediatrician and philosopher, who graduated from the Medical Scholars Program at the University of Illinois, completed his pediatrics residency at Memorial Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia, and in 1999 joined the faculty at Penn State Hershey. In addition to his clinical responsibilities, Dr. Levi teaches and does research in the field of bioethics, with an emphasis on decision-making. His current research projects focus on advance care planning (for adults facing end-of-life medical decisions) and professional concerns regarding the reporting of suspected child abuse. Dr. Levi serves as Director of The Center for the Protection of Children at Penn State Hershey, as well as Vice-Chair of the Hospital Ethics Committee. He is happily married, and his greatest challenge is keeping up with his two wonderful children.
- Jennifer Miller, M.D. graduated from Upstate Medical University in 1998 and served her residency at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, finishing in 2001. Her interests include newborn medicine and care of patients with complex medical needs. Dr. Miller is the Medical Director of the Newborn Nursery at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital, and is the Associate Director of the Pediatric Residency Program. Dr. Miller is married and currently resides near Mt. Gretna.
- Abigail K. Myers, M.D. is a native of Hershey, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Hershey High School in 1999 and went on to obtain her undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 2003. She received her medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine in 2007. She completed her pediatric residency at Geisinger Medical Center in 2010 and then worked in a private practice for two years prior to moving back to the Hershey area to join the Hope Drive Pediatrics Clinic in July 2012. Areas of special interest include adolescent gynecological health, newborn care, and medical education of pediatric residents and medical students. She is an attending physician in the newborn nursery and works full time in the clinic. Dr. Myers is married and has children.
- Nathan Oxenford, CPNP-PC received his Master of Science in Nursing and Master of Arts in Bioethics from Case Western Reserve in 2009. He holds dual certifications as a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in Primary Care, as well as a board certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Nathan has worked with Boston Children's Hospital in the Department of General Surgery, and as an RN at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. He joined Penn State Hershey Pediatrics in 2013, and has special interests in both ethics and health disparities. Nathan also sees patients at Penn State Hershey Medical Center's Elizabethtown practice.
- Ian M. Paul, M.D. M.Sc. graduated from Pennsylvania State College of Medicine in 1998, and completed his residency training at Duke University Medical Center in 2001. He has been a faculty pediatrician in Hershey since 2001. In addition to his responsibilities as a general pediatrician and in the newborn nursery, Dr. Paul spends much of his time working on a variety of research projects and clinical trials that seek to improve healthcare for children and their families. His current research includes studies to prevent obesity and treat symptoms of the common cold. He also participates in a national asthma research network and one seeking to develop better evidence for the use of medications for children. Dr. Paul is married with two children and resides in Lancaster.
- Jody Ross, M.D., is a Harrisburg native, and graduated from Wright State University School of Medicine in 1994. Areas of special interest include travel medicine and caring for international adoptees and children in foster care. She has been a pediatrician here since 1997, in addition to her responsibilities as a general pediatrician, she teaches third year medical students and supervises residents for continuity clinic. She and her husband have four children.
- Deepa Sekhar, M.D. completed medical school at Brown University in Providence, RI in 2003. She subsequently went on to her pediatric residency at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York, NY. After a year as chief resident at the Brooklyn Hospital Center in Brooklyn, NY she relocated to Dallas, TX in 2007. Dr. Sekhar worked in Dallas as a pediatric hospitalist. In July 2008 she and her family moved to Hershey, PA. She has three little boys ages 6 years, 3 years, and 18 months. Her research involves iron deficiency and hearing screening for adolescents. She is board certified in general pediatrics and is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Sekhar is fluent in both Spanish and English.
- Alawia Suliman, M.D. graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Khartoum, Sudan, an affiliate of Cambridge University. She served her residency here at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Her interests include breastfeeding, growth and development, as well as medical student and resident education. Research interests involve development of new vaccines. She has served on the medical students' selection committee, and the Dean's council for diversity. She is the Board Secretary for the Arthritis Foundation of Central Pennsylvania. Dr. Suliman has practiced pediatrics internationally in Sudan, England and America. She is married, the mother of three children and is fluent in Arabic.
- Alyssa 'Kate' Weller, D.O. graduated from Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2011 and completed her residency here at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in 2014. She is a native of Staunton, Virginia. Her areas of special interest include pediatric headache management, concussions and the care of children with complex medical needs. She also sees children in the Penn State Hershey Pediatric Headache and Concussion Clinics. She is married and currently resides in Linglestown.
- Mark Widome, M.D. received his medical degree from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. He completed his pediatric residency training at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, and had a fellowship in Ambulatory Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Dr. Widome began practicing at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in 1977, where he specializes in general pediatric care, growth and development, injury prevention and medical education. He has served as the chief of division of general pediatrics for thirteen years. Dr. Widome lives in Hershey with his wife. They have two grown children and one grandson.
Specialized Care Providers
- Cheston M. Berlin, Jr., M.D. was born in Pittsburgh, PA. He received his undergraduate degree in chemistry at Haverford College and M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School. He served his residency at the Boston Children's Hospital and has been employed by Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center since 1971. His interests include pediatric pharmacology, nutrition, lactation, phenylketonuria (PKU), tic disorders including Tourette Syndrome and general pediatrics. His is also interested in the use of Kuvan in patients with PKU and studying long term outcomes of patients with tic disorders including Tourette's syndrome. Dr. Berlin resides in Hershey with his wife. They have four children and two grandchildren.
- Rachel A. Dishong, RN was a Clinical Ladder IV RN at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center Emergency Department for two years. While there she was a Pediatric Resource Nurse, the Pain Resource Nurse for NEC task force and on councils Quality Work Life and ED Pediatrics. Rachel is a graduate of our Nurse Residency from 6th Floor Acute Care and was the floor representative for the hospital wide Education Council. Rachel is a graduate of Harrisburg Area Community College with an Associate of Science Degree in Nursing and is currently enrolled at Penn State Harrisburg for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She serves as the Care Manager for Internal Medicine and General Pediatrics, where she helps educate patients and families about their health care management.
- Laura Murphy, M.D. graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine in 1994. She did her residency at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia where she stayed on as faculty until June 2009. While at St. Christopher's, she was actively involved in resident and medical student education and is currently the Vice Chair of Education here at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital. At St. Christopher's she was the medical director for the Special Needs program in Ambulatory Pediatrics, a program that provided care for children with complex medical problems. Dr Murphy cares for pediatric patients with complex medical problems here at Hope Drive as well as our Camp Hill office, as well as overseeing residents during acute clinic sessions.
Acute (Sick Child) Care Providers
In addition to our primary care providers, several doctors have joined our clinic to treat children for same-day sick appointments.
- Laura Duda, M.D. graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine in 1993 and served her residency at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. She joined Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital in 2005, where she has been teaching residents and medical students, and providing care for patients in our acute "sick child" clinic. Dr Duda is also one of our providers that sees primary care patients at our Camp Hill office, in addition to seeing patients with Tourette Syndrome. Dr. Duda is also developing a consultative service for cases of suspected child abuse along side Dr Crowell. She is married and has three children.
- Jacob Varghese, M.D. received his education from SUNY Upstate Medical University College of Medicine in Syracuse, New York in 1999. He did his pediatric residency at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in 2002 and joined the Hope Drive Pediatrics team in June of 2013.
Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital strive to partner with parents to provide quality medical care for patients. We care for children from birth through adolescence and provide routine health supervision as well as urgent evaluations for illnesses. We care for healthy patients as well as those with complex medical needs. We work closely with the sub-specialists and hospitalists, facilitate referrals and otherwise coordinate care when necessary.
All of our pediatricians carry professional responsibilities outside of the pediatric office. Hence, your child's pediatrician may not be available every day of the week. We encourage parents to schedule appointments well in advance, increasing the likelihood that they will see the provider of their choice. We understand, however, that urgent problems arise. If your child's pediatrician is unavailable, we have additional urgent appointments set aside each day. These appointments are staffed by pediatric residents with direct supervision from one of the faculty pediatricians. In addition, evening and weekend appointments are available for urgent needs.
My Penn State Hershey Health
Penn State Hershey Medical Center offers patients the ability to connect with their provider online by using a secure website called My Penn State Hershey Health. This online tool allows you to manage upcoming appointments, check test and lab results, communicate with your provider through secure messaging, and view or print health related documents from home. You can sign up during an appointment by providing an email address so staff can send you an invitation. Any child ages 14-17 will need to be present and give their written consent for you to view their health records, and patients over the age of 18 must manage their own site. You can learn more about the benefits of having a My Penn State Hershey Health account by clicking here.
Our faculty pediatricians conduct approved research studies within the office. From time to time, you or your child may be asked to participate in these research opportunities. Participation is completely optional. To find out more about past and current or upcoming studies click here.
Our pediatric residents care for patients at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital during their three year training. Your child may be scheduled directly with one of the resident doctors working under direct supervision of a faculty pediatrician. Residents review and discuss each patient with a supervising faculty member. You can be confident that your child will receive comprehensive care.
Penn State College of Medicine medical students serve on a rotation with pediatricians in our office. You may be asked to have a medical student participate in your child's evaluation and care. Medical students are closely supervised by faculty pediatricians, and no patient will be seen by a medical student alone.
Telephone Advice and After Hours Care
During daytime office hours, our registered pediatric nurses are available to advise you about the care of your child and contact your physician, if needed. Overnight and on weekends, pediatric nurses are also available to provide advice. You can reach our after hours nursing staff by calling 717-531-7300 and staying on the line to be transferred, or by calling our Careline directly at 717-531-6955.
A $12 fee may be charged for any form your child needs to have completed that is not done at their scheduled well child visit. This includes, but is not limited to, forms for school or sports physicals, daycare physicals, camp physicals, authorization to participate in sports or camp, Driver's Permit forms, PIAA sports forms, or FMLA paperwork. We have school physical, daycare physical, PIAA sports, and Driver's permit forms available if you would like to have one completed during a well child visit. When a form is completed during a visit, we will be happy to make a copy for your child's medical record in the event you need the form in the future. If you request that a form be completed outside of a well child visit, you can expect the form to be completed within 3-5 business days.
We make every attempt to keep our fees reasonable and fair. Professional fees are based on the care given and the time needed to provide health care for your child. Immunizations, diagnostic tests, administration of injections, and procedures are charged separately. Due to the high cost of sending bills, we expect you to pay any co-payment and fees during the visit. Financial and billing service coordinators are available to assist with billing questions and insurance issues. They can also assist you in applying for Pennsylvania's Child Health Insurance Plan or Medicaid Insurance (low cost or free medical insurance for qualifying families). Our billing service coordinators can be reached at 717-531-1814.
If you would like to be seen by a specialist for a health issue, most offices request that you first see your primary care provider. Your provider can request that you be treated by a particular specialty and provide that office with information regarding your care. Please ask your primary care provider if you would feel you would benefit from a consultation by a specialist.
Some insurance companies, such as Tricare and Keystone, require referral forms or special approval before a patient can be seen by a specialist. If your insurance requires a referral to see a specialist, please contact our insurance coordinator to help you complete necessary paperwork prior to your specialist visit. To obtain an insurance authorization to see an out of network provider, please notify us at least two weeks prior to the visit. Our insurance coordinator can be reached at 717-531-2075 during daytime office hours and is available to answer any of your questions.
Suggestions and Problems
We are always trying to improve the pediatric care and service we provide to our patients and families. If you have any suggestions, please let us know. Likewise, if you are dissatisfied with an experience with our office, please tell us so that we may correct the problem. We welcome your input, including that from patient satisfaction surveys that you may receive. When calling with your concerns or suggestions, please ask to speak with our office manager.